Nothing says Christmas like ammo, Cabela’s socks for the hunter in our family
This isn’t Dear Abby or Ask Annie or Tyra or Oprah, but I thought I would give the spouses of hunters some advice for your Christmas shopping lists.
Diamonds are forever, but if you want to really hit a home run with that special person – buy them a new shotgun! Don’t buy some run-of-the-mill discount store pipe with a stock attached to it. Diamonds cost a lotta Ben Franklins! It’s only fair to buy that special person something of equal value. Go for a Perazzi or Purdey at least! These will only set you back $25,000 to $30,000.
What’s that? You say that that special person isn’t worth that kind of investment or you just can’t afford $30,000? Well, then, try these less-expensive items for the hunter in your life.
A product that I have field-tested and would give an A+ is Cabela’s CoolMax hiking socks. I use them as a liner and wear them under a pair of over-the-calf Thorlos. It’s a great combination and helps keep you comfortable all day long.
L.L. Bean offers some terrific products for the outdoors person. Their pac boots – leather uppers, rubber bottoms – aren’t one of these terrific products.
I used this boot for several years when I was younger. I think I have foot problems today because of these boots. They don’t offer any support for any part of your foot. If you have some paybacks for that special person, go ahead and buy them a pair of these. They’re guaranteed to make them miserable.
Barbour and Filson offer outerwear that is “waxed” or “oiled.” The idea is to keep you dry and warm. Don’t put these on your list unless you want that special person to be wet and cold.
I think these products were developed in England where the hunters stand in one spot and birds are flushed toward them. If you walk around in the waxed/oiled garment, you sweat and create your own personal sauna.
I’ve used a Barbour jacket and a pair of Filson chaps. I didn’t care for either. I gave the Filson chaps to my good friend Richard Griess. I think we’re still good friends.
Under Armour will keep you comfortable if you have the correct weight of the shirt for the existing conditions.
I carry several base layer Under Armour shirts. I try to match the weight with the day that I am outdoors. You can find Under Armour at any sporting goods store. I like to purchase mine online because the selection is better.
Another product that your outdoors person might like to find under the Christmas tree is ammunition – buy them a box of ammo. Now that sounds like something right out of “Christmas Vacation” and Cousin Eddie.
You may need to find out from that special person what they shoot. If my wife asked me what to buy, I’d tell her Winchester high brass upland game bird loads with number four shot. That would be the minimum amount of information needed to purchase ammo for someone else.
I’ve tried other loads, and I always come back to the Winchesters that travel a bit over 1,300 feet per second.
Fiocchi loads that travel about 1,400 feet per second sounded like they would be a better choice, but after shooting two boxes of the case I bought, I gave the last eight boxes to my son. He hasn’t had back surgery yet but will need it after he goes through those eight boxes.
If you really don’t want to buy that special person a brand-new pickup with the built-in navigation device, you may want to purchase a simple hand-held GPS.
My Garmin eTrex hand-held GPS has been a real blessing when I hunt in the mountains or sand hills. They are not very expensive, and they are easy enough for my wife to tell me how to use mine. She’s really good with owner’s manuals.
All kidding aside, I must tell all of you that read my column that it’s your feedback and comments when I see you at church, in a restaurant or some retail store that keep this fun for me.
During this wonderful time of year, I would like to use the media to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
Jim Vanek is a longtime hunter who lives in Greeley with his family.
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